Universalis
Saturday 7 December 2019    (other days)
Saint Ambrose, Bishop, Doctor 
 on Saturday of the 1st week of Advent

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


INTRODUCTION
O God, come to our aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
The Advent of our God
  With eager prayers we greet
And singing haste upon the road
  His glorious gift to meet.
The everlasting Son
  Scorns not a Virgin’s womb;
That we from bondage may be won
  He bears a bondsman’s doom.
Daughter of Zion, rise
  To meet thy lowly King;
Let not thy stubborn heart despise
  The peace he deigns to bring.
In clouds of awful light,
  As Judge he comes again,
His scattered people to unite,
  With them in heaven to reign.
Let evil flee away
  Ere that dread hour shall dawn.
Let this old Adam day by day
  God’s image still put on.
Praise to the Incarnate Son,
  Who comes to set us free,
With God the Father, ever One,
  To all eternity.

Psalm 104 (105)
The Lord is faithful to his promises

Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;
  proclaim his works among the peoples.
Sing and make music to him
  and reflect on all the wonders he has performed.
Glory in his holy name,
  let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord in his power,
  always seek his face.
Remember the wonders he performed,
  his miracles and the judgements he has uttered.
Seed of Abraham, his servants,
  children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
The Lord himself is our God,
  his rule extends over the whole earth.
He has always remembered his covenant,
  that he made to last a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
  the oath he swore to Isaac.
He made it a decree for Jacob,
  an eternal covenant for Israel, saying
“I will give you Canaan
  and measure it out as your inheritance.”
Although they were few in number,
  a handful of wanderers,
although they were travelling from nation to nation,
  from one kingdom to another,
he let no harm come to them,
  he rebuked kings in their defence:
“do not touch my anointed ones,
  do no harm to my prophets.”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.

Psalm 104 (105)

The Lord did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave: he released him from the power of sinful men.
The Lord called down famine upon the land, he ground away every stick of bread.
He had sent a man to them, Joseph, and he was sold as a slave.
They confined his feet in fetters and put a ring around his neck –
until the Lord’s word came, the Lord spoke and justified him.
The king sent for him and released him – the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He set him to rule over his house, made him lord of all his possessions,
so that he could make the princes as wise as himself and teach wisdom to the elders.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave: he released him from the power of sinful men.

Psalm 104 (105)

The Lord remembered his holy word, and he brought out his people with joy.
And so Israel passed into Egypt
  and Jacob lived in the country of Ham.
The Lord made his people grow enormously
  and strengthened them against their enemies.
Then he turned the hearts of men against his chosen people,
  so that they hated them and made plots against them.
He sent Moses, his servant,
  and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
He made them prophesy
  the signs and prodigies he would work in the land of Ham.
He sent shadows and darkness,
  but they would not listen to his words.
He turned their rivers into blood,
  killing all the fish.
Frogs ate up the earth,
  even in the secret gardens of the palaces.
He summoned flies
  and insects throughout the land.
He sent stones of hail and fire
  to devastate their land.
He struck their vines and their fig-trees,
  broke down the trees of their country.
He spoke, and locusts came,
  and worms without number:
they ate all the grain of the land,
  consumed all of the fruit.
He struck down the first-born of their land,
  the flower of all their strength.
He led his people out with silver and gold;
  not a single one of them stumbled.
Egypt rejoiced to see them go,
  to see the last of the people they feared.
He sent a cloud to protect them,
  and fire to light up their nights.
He led out his people in exultation,
  his chosen ones in gladness.
He gave them the territory of the nations,
  the fruits of the labours of the peoples.
All this he did
  so that they would keep his decrees
  and follow his laws.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord remembered his holy word, and he brought out his people with joy.

℣. The Lord makes his word known to Jacob,
℟. To Israel his laws and decrees.

First ReadingIsaiah 21:6-12 ©

The watchman announces the ruin of Babylon

This is what the Lord has said to me,
‘Go and post the watchman,
and let him report what he sees.
‘If he sees cavalry,
horsemen two by two,
men mounted on camels,
let him observe, closely observe.’
The look-out shouts,
‘On a watchtower, Lord,
I stand all day;
and at my post
I keep guard all night.’
Look, here come the cavalry,
horsemen two by two.
They spoke to me; they said,
‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon,
and all the images of her gods
are shattered on the ground.’
You who are threshed,
you who are winnowed,
what I have learnt
from the Lord of Hosts,
from the God of Israel,
I am telling you now.
Oracle on Edom:
Someone shouts to me from Seir,
‘Watchman, what time of night?
Watchman, what time of night?’
The watchman answers,
‘Morning is coming, then night again.
If you want to, why not ask,
turn round, come back?’
ResponsoryRv 18:2,4-5
℟. The angel cried aloud, Babylon, great Babylon is fallen. And now I heard another voice from heaven say,* Come out of her, my people, that you may not be involved in her guilt.
℣. Her guilt mounts up to heaven: the Lord has kept her sins in remembrance.* Come out of her, my people, that you may not be involved in her guilt.

Second Reading
A letter of St Ambrose

You win the people over with the grace of your words

You have entered upon the office of bishop. Sitting at the helm of the Church, you pilot the ship against the waves. Take firm hold of the rudder of faith so that the severe storms of this world cannot disturb you. The sea is mighty and vast, but do not be afraid, for as Scripture says: he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.
  The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock of the apostles among so many dangers in the world; it therefore remains unmoved. The Church’s foundation is unshakeable and firm against the assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly beat upon the Church with crashing sounds, the Church possesses the safest harbour of salvation for all in distress. Although the Church is tossed about on the sea, it rides easily on rivers, especially those rivers that Scripture speaks of: The rivers have lifted up their voice. These are the rivers flowing from the heart of the man who is given drink by Christ and who receives from the Spirit of God. When these rivers overflow with the grace of the Spirit, they lift up their voice.
  There is also a stream which flows down on God’s saints like a torrent. There is also a rushing river giving joy to the heart that is at peace and makes for peace. Whoever has received from the fullness of this river, like John the Evangelist, like Peter and Paul, lifts up his voice. Just as the apostles lifted up their voices and preached the Gospel throughout the world, so those who drink these waters begin to preach the good news of the Lord Jesus.
  Drink, then, from Christ, so that your voice may also be heard. Store up in your mind the water that is Christ, the water that praises the Lord. Store up water from many sources, the water that rains down from the clouds of prophecy.
  Whoever gathers water from the mountains and leads it to himself or draws it from springs, is himself a source of dew like the clouds. Fill your soul, then, with this water, so that your land may not be dry, but watered by your own springs.
  He who reads much and understands much, receives his fill. He who is full, refreshes others. So Scripture says: If the clouds are full, they will pour rain upon the earth.
  Therefore, let your words be rivers, clean and limpid, so that in your exhortations you may charm the ears of your people. And by the grace of your words win them over to follow your leadership. Let your sermons be full of understanding. Solomon says: The weapons of the understanding are the lips of the wise; and in another place he says: Let your lips be bound with wisdom. That is, let the meaning of your words shine forth, let understanding blaze out. See that your addresses and expositions do not need to invoke the authority of others, but let your words be their own defence. Let no word escape your lips in vain or be uttered without depth of meaning.
Responsory
℟. Proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it; refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience,* but do all with the patience that the work of teaching requires.
℣. Who else can boast such deeds as yours, who anointed kings for repentance?* But do all with the patience that the work of teaching requires.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you made Saint Ambrose
  a teacher of the Catholic faith
  and a pattern of apostolic fortitude.
Raise up in the church today
  men after your own heart
  to lead your people with wisdom and strength.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons. The Universalis apps and programs do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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